Why Nurture Matters
“Love is in the air,” sang John Paul Young, “everywhere I look around.”
Whilst leads might not be in the air, they are certainly everywhere. Across channels, across devices and at every stage in the sales funnel.
With a staggering 96% of inbound leads failing to convert after web visit , the importance of an effective lead nurturing strategy cannot be underestimated. In its simplest form, lead nurturing seeks to make the most out of every touch point to funnel a lead through to purchase; it is the process of and dialogue between a business and prospect focused on this singular sales aim.
The benefits of lead nurturing are plain to see. In a study by Forrester, it was revealed that businesses see an average of 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured compared to non-nurtured leads . In addition, nurtured leads not only convert better but make larger purchases; spending up to 47% more than their non-nurtured contemporaries . Lead nurturing ultimately protects the ROI of your marketing efforts and enhances your bottom line.
Despite the clear revenue advantages of lead nurturing, 65% of B2B marketeers have not established a lead nurturing strategy .
If you are part of this percentage or if you want to boost your funnel velocity, read below as the experienced strategists at Think Beyond share their top 5 nurture techniques to help you create that perfect match between your business and your prospects.
To discuss your lead nurture programme direct with a member of the Think Beyond team, call 01625 682110.
The Heart of the Matter: 5 lead nurturing techniques
1. Lead scoring
Lead scoring allows you to quickly prioritise your hottest inbound leads and allocate resource accordingly.
The concept is simple: customer web browsing habits, social media interactions and conversion actions are assigned a numeric value. This value is then used to determine where a prospect is in the sales funnel and what action should be taken to further accelerate their velocity through to purchase. The higher the value, the “hotter” a prospect is considered.
Lead scoring is arguably one of the most underused nurture techniques with only 21% of B2B companies said to utilise this tool . Get your lead scoring on track and your business will not only benefit from better sales productivity, you could also have a significant advantage over the competition.
2. Targeted content
If lead scoring allows you to determine what is hot or not, content is what turns up the dial and effectively does the heavy lifting in lead nurturing.
Take time to understand your buyer personas and tailor content to nurture their interests, pain points and marketing triggers. Could a testimonial help that five time return visitor who matches your ideal customer to complete the sale? Or could a time-limited offer help that lead from a year ago finally convert?
Whatever content you create, the key is to ensure that it is targeted, specific and timely. This is the right time, right content, right persona triad.
It is not enough to rely solely on email drip campaigns if you want create an effective nurture strategy. Engage with your leads via a combination of email, social, direct mail, paid retargeting and direct sales. Think outside the email inbox and use all channels at your disposal to maximise your nurture efforts.
4. Sales and Marketing alignment
Your lead scoring, content and multichannel efforts must be supported by sales and marketing alignment. It is imperative that sales and marketing work as one team and are united as to what qualifies as MQL (marketing qualified lead) and SQL (sales qualified lead). Equally, they must collaborate on content creation and agree at what point a lead is passed from marketing to sales. The end result will be clear, unified messaging and a seamless flow of qualified leads.
Automation can supercharge your pipeline velocity and ensures that no lead is forgotten. Automate your grading, content delivery and list segmentation to create effective workflows that are highly personalised for the prospect and deliver efficiency savings for your sales team as time is not wasted on leads that are not sales ready. According to one study, companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months .
Maximise your nurture strategy with Think Beyond
Customer journeys are complex with 79% of leads never making it through to sales won . Lead nurturing allows you to love your leads that little bit more; nurture programmes educate your buyer personas and help build trust between prospects and your brand. Embrace lead nurturing and your business too will benefit from this extra love in the form of productive, efficient sales with less wastage on unqualified leads and increased revenue opportunities.
The need for lead nurturing is especially marked in the B2B sector owing to the longer nature of purchase cycles (3-18 months). Without an effective lead nurture programme in place to maintain a dialogue and accelerate the path to conversion, valuable leads will get lost and inevitably fall into the lap of your competitors.
Yet knowing how to implement a nurture strategy as part of your wider marketing plan is far from simple with a whopping 68% of B2B enterprises yet to identify their sales funnel .
This is where the qualified marketing consultants at Think Beyond can help.
Think Beyond partner with marketing and sales directors, CEOs and business owners to work together on every element of their business strategy. From research to planning, training through to providing board level Marketing Director as a Service (MDaaS), our highly-skilled marketeers want to take your business further.
To find out how we could work together on your success, call 01625 682110.
Or, to request a call back from a member of the Think Beyond team, submit your details here.